|Scottish Cemetery, Calcutta. cottishcemeterykolkata.wordpress.com|
|Scottish Cemetery, Calcutta. indianvagabond.com|
In order to mange their growing establishment and expansion activities, they needed the services of more men from England. Lots of Irish, Welsh and others moved over to Calcutta region for employment and business. Correspondingly many churches sprang up to cater to the needs of these people from England.
|Scottish Cemetery at Calcutta. scotscemeteryarchivekolkata.com|
|St. Andrew church and writer's building, Kolkatta.www.alamy.com|
|St Andrews Church (1816), Kolkata pixels-memories.blogspot.com|
The gravestone here are mostly sandstone or granite with markers and inscriptions apparently brought from Scotland, hence, as mentioned before, had strong Scottish imprint. Unfortunately the cast iron and lead used in lettering were removed over a period of time in the 20th century, apparently by scavengers of graves, hooligans and anti-social elements.
This cemetery was in use way back in 1940s. After independence in August, 1947, the cemetery was no longer used for Christian burial and fell into disuse and later neglect. Over 90% of Scott and the rest Bengali Christians were buried here. The entire burial site was in a dilapidated state.
In order to preserve the damaged Scottish cemetery, belonging to Kolkata’s first Scottish-built church, and to emphasis the glorious historic link between India and Scotland, a Scottish Charity called the Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust (KSHT) was formed in 2008. As a first step, cleaning work was done, removing all the unwanted growth of wild shrubs, plants and trees there; later a survey of the monuments was done with ample support from the Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments for Scotland. Under the project head Dr. Neeta Das, the cemetery's burial archives are being transcribed for digital use by KSHT in collaboration with the Presidency University, Kolkata. On her return to India after learning the art of conservation of historical monuments, Dr. Neeta Das started a research facility called "the Lime Centre", Kolkata, on the model of a center in Scotland to teach techniques of restoration and conservation of damaged historical sites back to glory.
The solitary Scottish souls, who have an eternal sleep in a grave yard thousands of miles away from their mother land and close relatives, were once in the employ of the British India and strove hard for the growth and development of the Indian subcontinent. We must respect the sentiments of the departed Scottish souls who continue to sleep in glory under the Divine Grace of the Lord.